Sammy Hagar Said Eddie Van Halen Recorded This Iconic Solo in His Pajamas

by Matthew Memrick

Van Halen frontman Sammy Hagar remembered Eddie Van Halen was so comfortable recording one solo that he did it in his pajamas.

That song, “Right Now,” is one of the supergroup’s best hits and a defining song of Hagar’s time as the frontman. Guitar World reported on the album’s key piece.

Hagar is a known storyteller when it comes to the band’s moments. He told Guitar Player about the song from the group’s 1991 “For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge.” By the way, Hagar was the one who came up with the album title.

He sang for Van Halen from 1985 to 1996. Eddie Van Halen died in 2020 from lung cancer.

Hagar Said Song Came Easy To Guitarist

Sammy Hagar said the guitarist came up with the song way before coming to the band. According to Guitar World, Halen said his instrumental part came long before 1983’s “Jump.”  

Maybe that’s why he was so comfortable showing up in pajamas to the studio. Van Halen had the piano and guitar parts down already, but Hagar said he “winged it.”  

“He came out of the house in pajamas and slippers, went into the studio, and played whatever came out,” Hagar said. “And as you might expect, it was pretty damn great.”

Hagar said, “(everything) came together like magic” for the hit song. Hagar’s lyrics, Eddie Van Halen’s piano and guitar parts, and the band’s fabulous playing.

The leader singer recalled Van Halen taking two passes at the song’s guitar solo. He said they both “sounded awesome because, as everybody knows, Eddie never played a bad solo.” 

Two takes. Man, that’s legendary.

Another revelation about the song came from the book, “I want my MTV: the uncensored story of the music video revolution.” The 2011 book caught Hagar saying that his lyrics for the song were the best he’d ever written for a Van Halen song.

 “I was tired of writing cheap sex songs,” Hagar recalled almost two decades later. “Eddie and I wanted to get serious and talk about world issues.” 

Maybe, that song was serendipity. It holds up pretty great all these years later.

Hagar, Band Story Changed A Little Over Time

The band’s history has changed over time with Hagar’s memories. Some stories say the singer came up with the song in the next room while hearing Eddie Van Halen play.

Maybe “Right Now” was different. Hagar thought the guitarist usually had everything together before coming to the studio. But for this song, he improvised? Hmm.

Van Halen, himself, had a different story in 2012. In a Guitar World interview, he told people he “liked to wing it” and that he didn’t “plan out (his) solos.” Later in the interview, the guitar god said he planned the solo in “Runnin’ with the Devil.” But outside that, he didn’t plan or write anything in advance

Not to be outdone, former Van Halen singer David Lee Roth said in 2019 famously claimed that he “structured” the guitar solos on the band’s debut album in 1978. Not sure what Eddie Van Halen had to think about that.